Verdi: Don Carlo - Tarres, Labò, Veasey, Paskalis, Talvela, Hotter; Ötvös. Frankfurt, 1971
Listen to a Sample:
If you needed just one reason to add this Don Carlo to your collection the answer would be obvious to me: the grand inquisitor scene. Certainly there have been many great basses who have met in what might be one of the ultimate showdowns in all of opera, but more often then not it turns into “anything you can sing I can sing louder.” Martti Talvela and Hans Hotter, however, create a remarkable theatrical moment with inflection and nuance, painting the scene with a finer brush than any other bass duo I have heard. Hans Hotter in particular demonstrates that if you are the Grand Inquisitor there is really no need to yell, and conveys his righteous resolution with serene confidence. The effect is nothing short of chilling. The rest of the performers are also excellent. Josephine Veasey stands out as a surprisingly sympathetic Eboli. Kostas Paskalis brings a glamorous presence to Rodrigo’s music and Enriqueta Tarres impresses in both the dramatic and delicate moments. Flaviano Labò, in the title role, is generally good, bringing a sense of elegance and refinement to the part. The only knock against him is a tendency to go flat in key moments. The sound is good although there is some mild clicking during Rodrigo’s death scene.